Two somewhat different viewpoints:
stealthfightrf17 wrote:If people who commeit vilont crimes were sentenced to death by any means, they could never do it again. Plus it would send a very strong message to those thinking about it. The older I am getting the more pro I am for public executions. I see how it would send a very strong message that we will not tolerate this.
Our system works (well, is supposed to work) on proportionality. The problem with execution for mere violence is that it creates the perverse incentive to kill all victims and eliminate them as witnesses, since if the thugs are caught, they'll be executed anyway. The death penalty needs to be reserved for those who actually kill their victims, otherwise it is likely to increase the number of dead innocents. Of course, to be effective, it also needs to be imposed regularly and swiftly --not an occasional execution 10 years after the crime.
powerboatr wrote:Thank you
for the article and your view
99 years......sounds crazy, it would seem better to extinguish his lights
save all of us $$ housing and feeding this turkey for 99
VMI77, I agree that we have a system based on proportionality. The problem isn't proportionality. The problem is that the measuring stick keep shifting. The 19th century equivalent of auto-theft was horse-theft. They used to hang people for horse-theft. If that standard continued today, car-thieves would be executed. Despite my attempt at humor in previous posts, I'm not advocating for the state execution of car thieves............although I care little if they get shot to death in flagrante by the car's legitimate owner. That's just a risk of the car thief's chosen profession. If they can't take the heat, they should get out of the kitchen. There exists a right to defend one's property. There exists no
right to steal what isn't yours.
Rape was considered a capital offense until as recently as 1977 (SOURCE
). Is rape more
prevalent today than it was pre-1977? I don't really know the factual answer, but it seems
like it is more prevalent now than it was then. For sure
they were more afraid of getting caught then than now. So whenever people keep moving the yardstick in the direction of mercy, it seems that the automatic and unequivocal fallout is that crime expands to take advantage of it.
Another member said of me not too long ago that I had a draconian sense of justice. I found that interesting because it begs the question of "what is the purpose of Justice." What should be our expectations for it? Does justice exist to punish the wrong-doer and discourage further wrong-doing? Does it exist to protect society at large from predation at large? Does it exist to exact an element of revenge on behalf of the wronged? Finally, does justice exist to ensure that the offender does not receive cruel or unusual punishment? I would imagine that the answer is all of the above. I would argue that proportionality not only should take into account whether or not the punishment fits the crime, but it should also take into account the convict's
share of the equity in administration of justice. As the old saying goes, "don't start
none, and there won't be
none." It is tempting to argue that this is a concept that criminals don't understand anymore than a shark understands attacking a swimmer. But they are not the same. The criminal knows
what he's doing is wrong. He tries to cover it up to keep from getting caught. He flees. He resists arrest. He pleads innocent when he knows
he's guilty as heck—and not just because he doesn't want to get punished, but because he is a serial liar. These are the things that make him a criminal—as opposed to a shark or a mountain lion, which is merely being what God (or evolution, or whatever you believe in) designed
it to be. Humans are not designed to be criminals. Criminality is an aberration, and it is most often one that humans choose
to engage in because their moral compass is broken.
"Freedom had been hunted round the globe; reason was considered as rebellion; and the slavery of fear had made men afraid to think. But such is the irresistible nature of truth, that all it asks, and all it wants, is the liberty of appearing." --Thomas Paine, Rights of Man, 1791